Welcome fellow seekers to the monthly newsletter of Spirit Of the Sycamore Tradition. A collaboration of the elders, clergy and members of our tradition. Sometimes, we have entries from the extended tribe of the Pagan community here too. If you would like to have something of yours featured, please let us know! We accept newsletter submissions at the email address newsletter [at] spiritofthesycamore [dot] org any time.
If you missed the previous Sycamore Spirit newsletter you can still see it here: Sycamore Spirit Newsletter #12.
What Is Your Mission? by Cianaodh Óg
People come into the clergy or dedicate themselves to the laity of spiritual organizations for different reasons depending upon their goals and mission in life. For me, it is a desire to obtain knowledge, wisdom and enlightenment from the ways of our ancestors, from the gods and from the spirits of the land we live in then pass on what I have obtained to others who desire to preserve and pass these ways on. In my efforts I have placed a great deal of emphasis on learning languages, writing methods, and symbols among other things. But why is that some might ask? Well, as I mentioned in a conversation with some of my fellow clergy members recently, one way of looking at ´´luck´´ is that it is where preparation meets opportunity. If we prepare ourselves to obtain knowledge or enlightenment then when the opportunity for it comes upon us, we're not as likely to miss it. Consider this for example. You're deeply interested in the ways of a particular Native American tribe and have befriended some of them and gained their trust. Because you have built this trust with them they invite you to a special ceremony held in a sacred place which only the tribe knows about. They emphasize the importance of this and entrust you not to reveal this place to others as it is deeply sacred and very ancient. On the day you visit there are markings on the wall and symbols which might reveal deep truths, or mysteries. Can you read them? Have you studied their language and writings through materials which they make available to the public. Because there might be something here which could be life changing to you but if you can not read it, you miss out. Bad luck or lack of preparation? While there you meet an elder who holds deep wisdom, strong medicine and stories of the tribe. But he only speaks in their language. Have you learned their language? Who might this elder be more likely to trust with great secrets, a person who has gone to the trouble to learn their language, their culture and their ways. Or an outsider who has come only with the tongue of those who have displaced them? Bad luck or lack of preparation? It is a lot of work to learn languages and writings of other cultures but the work can be extremely rewarding. There are some things which simply can not be translated. Just a little something to think about. There are many things to learn and depending on what mission you are on, many tools you might put in to the toolbox of your mind to help you on your journey.
Book review by Arachne Crowsinger
Beyond the Yew Dale: A Guide to Runic Divination by Paul Sykes
If you know nothing about Runic Divination, this is an excellent starter book. This book is a very simple, not at all complex and a quick read. It touches briefly on the Norse Gods and mythology and how they influence this ancient form of divination.
I found it wet my appetite for learning more about Runes and Norse Mythology while giving the reader a very rudimentary understanding of Rune divination. It also suggested several easy to use layouts at the end.
Very basic information to get you started but at times, I wished the author had gone into a little more detail.
Summary: Not a necessary MUST HAVE book, but if you’ve got about an hour to kill, find it at Half-Priced Books like I did and are curious about Runes, this will let you know if this Runes are something you wish to investigate further.
Prayer & Blessing Requests
We occasionally receive requests throughout the month for prayers and blessings as members of our tribe and extended spiritual family struggle through the challenges of life as well as share in their triumphs and new journeys on their paths. Here, we ask that you add a candle to your altar or otherwise send energies to the following people who have requested prayers and blessings:
Cianaodh, an elder of Spirit Of the Sycamore Tradition and HP of Temple Of the Standing Stones shares the following:
Danu beloved! Mother of the Shining Ones,
Shield, oh shield us, Lady of nobleness,
And Brigit the beauteous, shepherdess of the flocks,
Safeguard thou our animals, encircle us together,
TOSS = Temple Of the Standing Stones hosted events
MWC = Mystic Willow Coven hosted events
SOS = Spirit Of the Sycamore tradition events
SOS - Imbolc 2017 - TODAY! Saturday, February 4th, 5 PM - 9 PM
2001 California Ln, Arlington, Texas 76015
Come Celebrate Imbolc with Spirit of the Sycamore Tradition.
Bring a dish to share for the after ritual potluck. Also, Bring something to drink.
Hosted by Temple of the Standing Stones.
The ritual style will be Druid inspired, borrowing elements from ADF and OBOD Druidry. We will be honoring the Goddess Brigid and welcoming the coming spring. Lamb, cheese and other dairy products are among things which would fit the food theme. We will be silvering the well. Those who would like to participate are asked to bring a trinket of silver they are willing to sacrifice to the gods. It may be a coin or small piece of jewelry or anything silver really. But it will literally be sacrificed to the gods so please be sure it is something you do not expect returned.
What to bring: (Optional)
Item For Potluck Dinner
Silver for the well (any silver item to be sacrificed - not returned)
Cash Donations for Cancer Care Services and/or Spirit Of the Sycamore Tradition
TOSS - Quickening Moon Esbat – Friday, February 10th
Our apologies, but Esbats are open to Initiated Clergy, Spouses and Candidates ONLY as these are the times we do our personal magickal workings and hold temple business meetings. Temple Of the Standing Stones is a Skyclad group which means our esbat rituals are conducted Skyclad. If you are a visiting tradition clergy member from another group, please plan accordingly. If you are not sure what that means, please get in touch with us for an explanation as there are rules of etiquette involved. An article will be posted soon detailing Skyclad Ritual Etiquette. All others, please feel free to attend our next open gathering.
TOSS – Temple Day – Musical Experimentation – Saturday, February 18th from 5:00pm til 11:00pm
Our temple days are days of crafts, lessons, board games, music and general communing with our tribe. Sometimes we watch a movie together, other times we play board games, sometimes we have impromptu music jam sessions, poetry reading or story telling. The point is to have an opportunity to get to know one another and build the bonds of spiritual family. Won’t you come join in with us?
This Temple Day will be held at Cianaodh’s home in Arlington, Texas. The address will be given upon request to those who plan to attend. The focal point at this Temple Day gathering will be Musical Experimentation – Please Bring Instruments, Voices and/or Ideas that you would like to share or just some appreciative ears to listen, hands to clap and feet to tap or dance.